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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production

The Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) certification program was launched by American Apparel Manufacturing Association (now known as the American Apparel and Footwear Association) in October 1999. It is endorsed by apparel manufacturers' associations in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Wal-Mart has also expressed its support for WRAP.

WRAP is generally condemned by labour rights advocates as a substandard program. The WRAP Principles are generally weaker than those in other codes, with few provisions requiring more than compliance with local laws. The provision on freedom of association limits it to zones where it is legally allowed.

Terry Collingsworth of the US International Labor Rights Fund calls WRAP "an industry-dominated project [set up] to avoid outside, legitimate monitoring. In short, it's a dodge, and is so regarded by everyone except industry." Michael Posner of the US Lawyers Committee for Human Rights has described WRAP as a "closed door" system because of its lack of transparency or independence.

WRAP places sole responsibility for seeking and achieving factory certification with the local factory owner. While WRAP is an initiative of large US apparel manufacturers, and key executive officers of those companies sit on its "Independent Certification Board," the actual responsibility for seeking WRAP factory certifications, hiring auditing firms and bearing the costs involved in achieving certification lie with the actual factory owners, who are in most cases southern suppliers of the northern manufacturers.

  • For more information on the WRAP program, visit:
  • For a critique of the WRAP program, see "Are Apparel Manufacturers Getting a Bad WRAP?", MSN Codes Memo #12, November 2002.